The South Carolina Railroad Museum, Inc. was established in 1973 by a group of dedicated railroad enthusiasts from the Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina areas. In October 1983, the Museum received by way of donation the former Rockton and Rion Railway located in Fairfield County, South Carolina from Martin Marietta Aggregates. Then began the long and difficult process of reconstruction. The Museum named the line the Rockton, Rion, and Western Railroad (RR&W).
Currently, the Museum operates on 5 miles of the 11.5 mile line of the former Rockton and Rion Railroad. The eastern terminal of the line is at the junction with the Norfolk Southern Railroad at the Rockton Station. The line runs generally westward through the Rion community to Anderson Quarry, home of the world famous blue granite called the "silk of the trade".
The Museum has accumulated many pieces of rolling stock by way of gift from the Charleston chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. The equipment includes various types of freight and passenger cars as well as a steam locomotive #44 which once belonged to the Hampton and Branchville Railroad. More equipment has been acquired including cabooses, freight cars, and diesel engines from CSX, Norfolk Southern, the Lancaster and Chester, and other railroads.
Plans call for the construction of a locomotive shop and equipment maintenance area as well as display tracks. Ultimately the Museum plans to have educational train excursions over the entire 11.5 mile route, exhibitions of freight and passenger train operations, static displays of railroad related artifacts, and a library of railroad related publications.
The South Carolina Railroad Museum, Inc. is actively seeking donations of railroad artifacts, equipment and funds (all donations are tax deductible). Membership is open to everyone who desires to assist in the preservation of South Carolina's great railroad heritage. All work performed by the Museum members is strictly voluntary.
The South Carolina Railroad Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is also a member of Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce, S.C. Federation of Museums, Confederation of S.C. Local Historical Societies, T.R.A.I.N., National Railway Historical Society, and the Association of Railway Museums.